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Horizon BBC programme on diet and fasting

justy

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Hi, i think this programme aired on Monday on BBC2 - it will be available on the i player for those in the uk. It was a very interesting programme about the effects on health, longevity and ageing - including cellular and brain health from fasting. They covered all the usual about calorie restrictors, but also then went on to look at the research into alternate day fasting (you still eat on the fast days but a lower calorie amount.

They discussed protein and how a high protein diet switches the body into go go go mode whereas fasting regularly allows the body to go into repair mode (also less protein and more plant nutrients)

They eventually came up with the 5/2 diet, which looks very useful. Eat normally for 5 days, then 'fast' for two (eating 500 calories for women and 600 for men on the fast day - no junk food on these days)
The effects on the presenters health over 5 weeks of this diet where amazing - he lost a stone in weight and his body fat went from 30% to 19% his blood glucose levels went down dramatically (he was advised he was pre diabetic) amongstr other things.

Here is a link to an article about it:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19112549

I'm thinking of giving it a go, I need to lose some weight and do something to help my stomach and giving it a brief rest every week feels like a good idea.

All the best! Justy.
 
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13,774
For a lot of conditions with fatigue, eating little and often seems to be advised... but I expect everyone's different. I go weird if I've not been able to eat, so would not try it myself.
 

Tito

Senior Member
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300
Just a thought: I watched the program and they said their conclusions were valid for healthy individuals. It seems there is no study about this on people with conditions as ours. But if you try, let us know. Thanks.
 

Ian

Senior Member
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282
I watched it. Notice how much weight the guy lost ? You couldn't do that long term otherwise you'd just waste away. Your metabolism would slow down a lot too. You'd be better off just eating a low glycemic index diet.
 

Enid

Senior Member
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3,309
Location
UK
I do it from time to time but simply to ease dysfunctional GI problems.
 

peggy-sue

Senior Member
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2,623
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Scotland
I only ever have eaten once a day, a big meal at night. It suits me. Eating during the day is not only nauseating, it turns me completely sluggish, and I get hungry later on too - so I end up eating far, far too much.

I did make a serious attempt at three meals a day, for about 5 months, in case it was my unusual eating habits that were behind my illness. I felt dreadful the whole time and put a lot of weight on.

I do find that fasting the odd day here and there is by far the easiest way to loose weight.
I'm just pleased to find that what I do is right after all. My body was telling me it is fine, and that the "normal" way does not suit me at all.

We evolved to cope with feast and famine conditions, we are omnivores, we can eat most things.
 

sianrecovery

Senior Member
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Manchester UK
I quite the look of this, thanks Justy - I think it might ease the strain on the gut to have a couple of days in which it didnt have to try to hard.
 

peggy-sue

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Scotland
The same chap did another programme on exercise - which had really unexpected outcomes.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01cywtq
I know we can't do this sort of activity, but the whole notion of exercise not being what is expected is absolutely fascinating.

Teasing out exercise physiology and any weird quirks that ARE unexpected and challenge the "normal" attitudes to it can only help us in the long run.

And the idea that short bursts of intensive exercise could cure a type of diabetes is just stunning!
 

peggy-sue

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Scotland
I don't overeat afterwards to compensate for the fasting.
I only overeat if I eat early on in the day..... I don't know how folk can cope with grazing like you say you need to!
I'm still delighted with this news. I'm fed up of being constantly told what I do is wrong.:angel:
 

anniekim

Senior Member
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779
Location
U.K
Peggy-sue, we are all different. If you find your way of eating suits you, then I'd stick to it. My sister and dad, when he was alive, do best having a large meal at night, I need regular small meals...
 

justy

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U.K
I think for PWME the important factor to remember is that on the 'fast' days you still eat, but just lower calories. About a year ago, when i was more severely ill this wouldnt have suited me - my hypoglycaemia wasterrible and i was having to eat a lot of protein due to severe unintentional weight loss.

But things are a bit different for me now - i have gained back way too much weight, my blood sugar is more stable and i now have gastritis. I thought a couple of days a week with LESS food would help my stomach, and my weight and perhaps have a positive impact on my health - not necessarily on the M.E - but i do worry that being overweight, sedentary and middle aged is not good. I worry about developing diabetes etc so i think this could help.

I also wonder if putting the body into repair mode might help us on a cellular level. I was interested by the brief mention of high protein being bad in the long run, as we are not wanting to build muscle all the time. It was suggested that protein puts a lot of strain on the body. Being a more or less life long veggie i have always felt we consume too much protein - although at one point i needed to eat more for a while. Most diets for PWME such as the paleo or stone age revolve around high fat and protein, so the programme made me think a bit about this. Being veggie the paleo thing is way too hard anyway so ive never been completely dedicated to it.

All the best, Justy
 

peggy-sue

Senior Member
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2,623
Location
Scotland
Being overweight is bad for you if you've got ME - you have to carry all the extra weight around with you, all day, every day. That uses up a whole load of energy.
I put a lot on after I started taking citalopram, but have managed to loose 2 stones (28lbs) over the last 3 years.
(mostly in short bursts - either a few days fasting, or if I have a week of serious overdoings for a holiday when my activity levels increase dramatically)
I was keeping a general eye on my BMI, and I've found with my various weight fluctuations, that as soon as I do reach the "desired" BMI figure of 25, all movement becomes easier, breathing is easier - life is just so much easier.

There is something correct about the BMI of 25 number.